The BJP’s election manifesto for Ladakh appears to be ‘old wine in new bottle’ as it has again made the issue of Union Territory (UT) status for arid region and inclusion of Bhoti language in the 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution as its main poll planks.
Opening of Kailash Mansarovar road via Ladakh’s Demchok for pilgrims, early completion of Zojila Tunnel and early execution of Kargil-Padum-Darcha road are the other major promises made by the party with Ladakhi people in its election manifesto, which was released in Leh on Wednesday.
During the last Lok Sabha polls, held in 2014, the BJP had listed all these major demands of people, promising to fulfill them if it came to power.
UT status for Ladakh region, inclusion of Bhoti language in the 8th schedule of the Constitution of India, early completion and opening of Nimo-Padum-Darcha (Chadar) road, opening of a central university with medical and engineering colleges in Ladakh, opening of Kailash Mansarovar road via Demchok for pilgrims, tourists and trade, Khardongla (the world’s highest motorable road at 18,380 feet from sea level) tunnel and Zojila tunnel for national security were part of its 2014 election manifesto.
“The BJP has shamelessly repeated its 2014 election manifesto to befool Ladakhi people because they have nothing to show. They (the BJP) must understand that the people are wise enough not to fall prey to their dirty politics of deceit,” Rigzin Spalbar, contesting candidate of Congress party, told Kashmir Post.
Sajjad Hussain Kargili, an Independent candidate backed by NC, PDP, Islamia School Kargil (ISK) and Anjuman Sahab-Zaman Kargil, said “The BJP manifesto is mere jumlabazi and nothing more than that. UT status is not possible for Ladakh till Article 370 exists in J&K. They promised similar things in 2014 but their own MP had to resign from party and Parliament because the party could not come up to the expectations of the people”.